It was a day to wear Badger red as the Dr. Loope historical marker was dedicated in downtown Iola.
Dr. Truman E. Loope, of Iola, was one of three students who started the University of Wisconsin-Madison football team.
On Friday, Nov. 22, the historical marker was placed at the site of Dr. Loope’s home and office, in the now-empty lot between the Iola Community Center and the Voie Funeral Home.
Loope practiced medicine for many years in the village of Iola. He went blind from an infection which developed in his eyes after attending a Badger football game during his 50th class reunion in 1941. He continued to practice medicine for a few more years before retiring.
Loope died in the early 1940s.
As a child growing up in Iola, Phil Strand, of Rome, Wis., knew Loope.
“He was a happy person and a great part of Iola,” Strand said. “He was just an amazing guy and a great deer hunter.”
Strand, like many others, had no idea Loope was a member of the first Badger football team.
“I didn’t know he was so involved in helping to create the UW-Madison Badger football team,” he said.
The doctor’s involvement was also a surprise to members of the local historical society.
“I give a lot of credit to Lyle Mork for digging up the information,” said Greg Loescher, of the Iola Historical Society.
Mork was doing research for the Iola Historical Society when he ran across an Iola Herald article about Loope helping to create the UW-Madison football team. The article had been reprinted from a Madison newspaper that had interviewed Iola’s doctor at his 50th class reunion.
“It was pretty amazing,” Mork said. “It is exciting news for a small town.”
According to Loescher, this is the sixth marker dedicated by the Iola Historical Society.
Upcoming markers are planned for the Iola Cancer Sanitarium, the potato warehouse and for Schoolhouse Hill, the first ski jump in the Iola area.